A Statement from Agnes Tolmie, SWC Chair, The SWC Board and Staff
"To all our followers, supporters and friends,
We all know that women are key to fighting this epidemic as workers, carers and community supporters. Our support for each other is necessary to ensure not only that we fight this virus but that we do not lose sight of our fight for equality in this strange new reality that we find ourselves in. By working together we can ensure that our voices remain at the forefront when decisions are made."
Please note, due to current circumstances, our SWC staff will be working remotely for the foreseeable future. You can still reach us by email - email@example.com. We'll still be keeping our social media channels updated and are continuing to work on ways to meet with women across the country as soon as is safe and practical!
Coronavirus Resources - What's Here?
On this page, you'll find,
- Key Contacts and Helplines
- Spring 2020 Roadshow Overview
- The Experiences of 2020 Blog
- 'Women in Scotland Together' - Information about our new Facebook Community Group
- Policy Briefings & Consultation Responses
- Additional Statements from The Scottish Women's Convention
Key Contacts & Helplines
Our team have pulled together a wide range of contacts that will be useful at this time. Just click on each to be taken straight to their website. Due to remote working conditions, the phone helplines listed below have varied working hours. Details of these working hours will be listed on the organisation's website and/or social media channels.
Scottish Government - Coronavirus - Scottish Government overview, including the latest government guidance, links to health advice and Scotland's test numbers, split by Health board.
UK Government – Coronavirus - UK-wide advice and guidelines, as above.
NHS Inform - Latest guidance about COVID-19 from NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government, including social distancing and stay at home advice.
Ready Scotland - Information from the Scottish Government on preparing for and dealing with emergencies, including information about helping your neighbours, friends and family, how to volunteer, where to find additional support, advice for community groups, shopping responsibly and advice for businesses.
Volunteering – Ready Scotland - Information from the Scottish Government's initiative to volunteer and help your community during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Young Scot - Advice and support for young women. Find out more about what's happening and the simple steps you can take to help prevent catching COVID-19 and spreading to others. Also find out more about what you can do if you are feeling anxious and worried, and how you can support others in your community.
Helpline: 0808 801 0338
Age Scotland - Advice and support for older women. Age Scotland has compiled advice for older people and their families on how to avoid exposure to the virus, as well as actions we can all take to help each other.
Helpline: 0800 12 44 222
Parent Club - Advice from the Scottish Government for parents and guardians. Support and guidance relating to family health, well-being, education and safety.
Carers Scotland - This section contains information for carers about advice and help that is available in Scotland to support carers. It intended to complement information produced by Carers UK to support carers across all four nations with specific information that only applies to carers.
Scottish Women’s Aid - Violence Against Women Services. "Scottish Women’s Aid is the lead organisation in Scotland working towards the prevention of domestic abuse. They play a vital role coordinating, influencing and campaigning for effective responses to domestic abuse. They work with a network of 36 specialist local Women’s Aid groups toward a shared vision of a Scotland where domestic abuse is not tolerated."
Helpline: 0800 027 1234
Shakti Women’s Aid - Violence Against Women Services. Shakti Women’s Aid helps BME women, children, and young people experiencing, or who have experienced, domestic abuse from a partner, ex-partner, and/ or other members of the household.
Helpline: 0800 027 1234
Rape Crisis Scotland - Violence Against Women Services. Rape Crisis Scotland (RCS) is the national office for the rape crisis movement in Scotland. The Rape Crisis Scotland National Helpline provides crisis support for anyone in Scotland affected by sexual violence at any time in their lives.
Helpline: 0808 801 0302
Breathing Space - Mental Health Services. Free, confidential, phone service for anyone in Scotland over the age of 16 experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety. "We are here in times of difficulty to provide a safe and supportive space by listening, offering advice and providing information."
Helpline: 0800 83 85 87
SAMH - Mental Health Services. SAMH is Scotland's national mental health charity. Their website currently features specific advice and guidance for self-help and well-being during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Understanding Universal Credit - Financial advice from the Department for Work and Pensions, with answers to many specific questions and situations regarding coronavirus and claiming benefits.
Money Talk Team - Personalised advice from Citizens Advice Scotland to "help make your money go further."
Telephone: 0800 085 7145
Community Assistance – Coronavirus Community Assistance Directory - The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has created this easy to use and comprehensive Directory to both find and offer support in your community.
Glasgow Helps - Help getting food, medicine, and a wide range of other crisis support - an online directory brought together by Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector.
Ready Scotland - Information and links for Where to Find Additional Support. Includes a large number of specific resources for different groups e.g. pregnant women, those with a disability, carers, and many more groups.
Local Government - Link to find out how to contact your Local Authority and list of their responsibilities.
Test, Track, Isolate, Support - The Scottish Government has launched its "Test, Trace, Isolate, Support" strategy, to minimise an increase in COVID-19 infections should we start to move out of the lockdown period.
Spring 2020 Digital Roadshows
Our Spring Calendar of Digital Roadshows took us to locations across Scotland via video conference calls, including Edinburgh & the Lothians, Ayrshire & Arran, Inverness, The Northern Isles, Dundee & Angus, Inverclyde, Glasgow and The Highlands & Western Isles.
Women told us about the initial crisis response in their local community, highlighting strong areas of support as well as groups of women who are possibly 'falling through the cracks.' We then discussed the way forward into our 'new normal', developing an understanding of changes women want to see and their areas of concern.
Many women who could not manage the Zoom meetings have also contributed in writing, which has been incorporated into the reports.
Experiences of 2020 - The Blog
Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing blog posts from women across many walks of life in Scotland. We hope to give a platform to voice how the pandemic is affecting you; your family, relationships, work, education, home life, mental health, wellbeing, and many more aspects of life.
The stories shared will allow us to give evidence to decision makers at all levels, ensuring women's experiences are focussed on throughout the Coronavirus response. We hope they'll also provide a form of support and solidarity to others in similar situations, or educate our wider audience about their role or position.
'Women In Scotland Together' - Our new Facebook Group
We've created an informal space where we hope women throughout Scotland can join together to enjoy chatting and socialising online, at a time where we cannot do so in person for the safety of ourselves and others.
We want to create a safe space for women to share ideas and support one another. Tell us what's happening in your community. Give us tips on how to spend time productively. How are you 'socialising' with others?
SWC Policy Briefings & Consultation Responses
Amidst the current backdrop of unpredictability and anxiety, The SWC is committed to pooling all our resources to ensure women across Scotland stay abreast of current information. This includes legislation and policy positions from both the UK and Scottish Governments as well as Local Authorities.
Unfortunately, this time has shown that many women will see a widening of inequality, suffer heightened abuse and be forced into poverty as a result of the current crisis. It’s important that women continue to access information regarding their rights and entitlements at this troubling time. Please find our latest Briefings and Consultation Responses below.
Policy Briefing: Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 (PDF) (Updated 9th April 2020)